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Galileo OS Signal In Space Interface Control Document - Issue 1 publication - Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the main differences between "issue 1" and "draft 1" of the Galileo OS SIS ICD?

The main difference concerns the "Terms of Use and Disclaimers" in "draft 1" which restricted the use of the Galileo OS SIS ICD to non-commercial testing, research and standardisation activities through the exercise of Intellectual Property rights.

With the new text, commercialisation activities are no longer prevented, although they are subject to the signing of a licensing agreement. The main elements of the licensing agreement are that it will be:

  • Free of charge
  • Long term in duration (ten years)

Will the licensing agreement create any additional commercial burden for chipset/platform/receiver manufacturers?

No, indeed the intention is the opposite. The objective of the EU with respect to "issue 1" of the Galileo OS SIS ICD is to allow chipset/platform/receiver manufacturers to undertake activities to ensure that Galileo will be compatible and interoperable, and to enable work to start to achieve this without further delay.

Why does the Galileo OS SIS ICD provide two licensing agreements?

The Galileo OS SIS ICD provides two licensing agreements because there are two separate purposes for which they are intended: the first licensing agreement is intended for research, test and standardisation activities, and the second licensing agreement is intended for "manufacturing, distribution and commercialisation purposes". Both licensing agreement are however similarly structured.

Why has the EU considered it necessary to develop licensing agreements instead of simply allowing the market unrestricted access to the Galileo OS ICD IPRs?

The EU has adopted this approach so that it can monitor who is using the IPRs and through this develop a close understanding of the user receiver domain and to ensure it is properly managing key assets of the Galileo and EGNOS systems owned by the EU (as required under the Regulation No. 683/2008). All the commercial in confidence information will be strictly managed as such.

What flexibility is there with respect to the text of the licensing agreements?

Equal access and non-discrimination is the governing principle under which the access to the Galileo OS SIS ICD IPRs is granted to third parties by the EU. Therefore, in principle, a uniform set of terms and conditions apply to all applicants. However, it is recognised that a certain degree of flexibility may need to exist depending on the objectively justified needs and specificities of a particular Licensee. The EU's ultimate objective remains the widest possible exploitation of the IPRs.

Are all the IPRs, as the object of the licensing agreements, listed in the Galileo OS SIS ICD?

Yes. They are in annexes to the licensing agreements.

Why do we now have an "issue 1" of the Galileo OS SIS ICD?

The reason there is now "issue 1" of the Galileo OS SIS ICD is because the ICD, which is an evolving document by its nature, is now mature enough to provide a consolidated basis on which chipset/platform/receiver manufacturers can start work. See also response to Q1.

Are there other major changes in the Galileo OS SIS ICD issue 1?

Yes, some important additional information and clarifications concerning the OS structure and characteristics have been inserted; the new text should be consulted carefully.

Why has the copyright notice been modified?

The copyright notice has simply been aligned with the Lisbon Treaty which has now come into force (the copyright is owned by the European Union).

What steps should an interested party take to sign a licensing agreement?

The interested party should simply send an email to the address provided in the "Terms of Use and Disclaimers". EU officials will then swiftly respond.

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